[What follows is a story concerning the wondrous reward of loving G‑d and sanctifying His Name.]

One day Rabbi Yosi was ill. Rabbi Aba and Rabbi Yehuda and Rabbi Yitzchak visited him. They saw him prostrated on his face, sleeping. They sat
[and waited for him to awake]. When he awoke, they saw his face smiling. Rabbi Aba asked him, did you see something new? He said to them, Indeed, for just now my soul rose up [to the palaces of the Garden of Eden] and saw the glory of those who suffered martyrdom for the sanctity of their Master going into thirteen rivers of pure balsam oil [referring to the 13 lights that flow down from Atik through bina without any mixture of impurity from the husks of external forces] and the Holy One, blessed be He, taking delight in them. I saw the great reward that is given to the righteous but I did not receive permission to talk about it. I asked them saying, whose glory is this for? And they told me it is that of those who loved their Master in that world [below]. From what I have seen my soul and my heart have been illuminated. Hence my face is smiling.

Rabbi Aba said, Fortunate is your portion. Yet the Torah bears witness to their reward, as written, "Elokim, neither has the eye seen, besides Yours, what He shall do for he that awaits Him". (Isaiah 64:3) Rabbi Yehuda said to him
[to R. Aba], The Colleagues have enquired why it is written, "He shall do" in the third person, instead of in the second person [as in the beginning of the verse]?

He said to him: We have learned [the explanation to] this [elsewhere], yet its secret is the words, "to behold the pleasantness of G‑d, and to visit His temple". (Ps. 27:4) We have explained that "the pleasantness of G‑d " is [the flow of bina-consciousness] which comes from Atika Kadisha, in which the Holy One blessed be He [Zeir Anpin] takes delight. For that beauty comes out from Atika [to bina and from there flows to Zeir Anpin].

"To visit His palace " refers to the supernal palace higher than them all
[this new consciousness enables Zeir Anpin to elevate higher to "visit" the "palace" of bina]. Here too, "neither has the eye seen a G‑d (Elokim), beside You do such a thing for those who await Him." Who [will "do such a thing"]? That most hidden [of all the partzufim] Atika, for that [reward] comes from Him [since it is only from this level that new beneficence flows]. He [R. Yehuda] said to him, It is surely so. Happy is the portion of those whose Master's love cleaves to them. Their portion in that [spiritual] world is immeasurable.

R. Yitzhak said that the righteous have many dwellings upon dwellings in that world
[the seven palaces that await them] and the highest level [the palace of Love] is for those to whom the love of their Master is connected, for their dwelling is connected to the chamber that surpasses everything. The reason is that the Holy One, blessed be He is adorned by it. [The Palace of Love inhabited by the souls of those who love Him and through them He works to flow good to those below in the physical world].

BeRahamim LeHayyim: Why did the Ari and Chida include this section? What do they want us to learn?

What the world needs now, is Love, sweet Love. That's the only thing we've got too little of. What is new here is the wondrous circle of love. The righteous who are the lovers of G‑d send their beaming hearts upward, which then "deposits" in the Palace of Love, related to chesed, the first of the 7 lower sefirot. And this causes the Beauty of G‑d to come from the highest "face", the place of Ultimate Patience, to flow downwards amongst all the Holy personages, finally to us. What happens below, happens above, the Zohar is fond of saying.

So more than just a simple spiritual "butterfly effect"; what we do has significant repercussions, may it be for the good, G‑d bless! The offering of one's soul is practiced mystically daily by those who know the way of Truth. The secret: doing an act of kindness for its own sake without any seeking of reward. Talk about Tikkun Olam!

What does the above mean to you, and why is it being revealed to you now?

Bracketed annotations from Metok Midevash and Sulam commentaries
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